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SHILLONG: With border areas of Meghalaya reeling under tensions of late, the Hynniewtrep Border Dispute Redressal Forum has made a call to the start assembling necessary documents of villages in inter-state border areas by the Autonomous District Councils, which are looked upon as custodians of land, customs of the indigenous tribal community.
Addressing the Press here on Monday, spokesperson of the forum, Thomas Passah said the forum had requested the Autonomous District Councils of Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills to collect document of villages in border areas within one month.
The forum has asked for the map of areas in KHADC, names of disputed areas with Assam, names of villages in the inter-state border with Assam, names of traditional heads of the villages.
Responding to further queries, he said that the forum would bring together the residents of different villages in the inter-state border areas.
He said that the aim of the forum is to resolve the border disputes and to ensure that development activities reached the border areas as he observed that people in the border areas were deprived of basic amenities thereby violating their human rights.
“People in the border villages prefer Assam to Meghalaya because the latter is giving them step-motherly treatment unlike Assam government that takes developmental activities to the doorstep of the people,” Passah said.
According to him, areas of dispute between Meghalaya and Assam, should have been directly funded by the Center in respect of development and extending benefits of government schemes to the people.
“There is no development in the border areas and the people are suffering. It is violation of human rights,” he said adding that public representatives from the border areas should concentrate in the development of their areas.
Passah also suggested that there should be on-the-spot free registration of land for people in the border areas of Meghalaya to be done through the District Councils. In this connection, the forum has met the Chief Executive Members (CEMs) of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC).